I will attempt to clarify my disdain for “tax the rich,” today. Of course we should tax the rich. We should to a lesser extent tax the middle class as well. We have been on a tax cutting binge for the past three decades, a plot fomented by pandering politicians as a sop to obtain votes from ignorant and greedy voters.
I certainly believe that our tax code should be significantly more progressive than it currently is, and it should be higher at all levels of income with the possible exception of the very lowest income level. My reasoning is that we should have a sustainable social fabric which serves the needs of the people of this nation, one which is paid for and not one that is propped up by ever increasing debt.
I was recently involved in a discussion where a person insisted that “tax the rich” would promote growth because a higher marginal tax rate would discourage “keeping profits” and make hiring additional employees a “good investment,” thereby creating jobs. The idea is ludicrous, since employment is not an investment decision but rather is a market decision, but even if it were I abhor the idea of government using the tax code to manipulate the business environment.
“Tax the rich” is a populist slogan invented to suggest to the masses that they can have the benefit of government programs without having to pay for them; that they can receive benefit and require someone else to foot the bill. Free lunch. Obama loyalists keep talking about wanting to “reverse the Bush tax cuts,” but they only want to reverse that part which affected the rich, and they want to keep the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. They want to eat their cake and have it at the same time.
Voters are real big on “support the troops,” so long as “the troops” are not 99% of the American voters; the people who are supporting the troops by putting magnets on their cars. That is not what General George Patton meant when he said that war is about “making some other poor bastard die for his country.”
Every person who benefits from living in this nation should have a stake in maintaining it as a viable entity, if not by personal service then at least by paying some small portion of the monetary cost of operating its government. That does not mean “making some other poor bastard die for it” and taxing the rich.
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